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Ground improvement techniques review and design; Field soil testing and investigation review and interpretation; seismic hazards assessment and remediation; reclaimed land techniques.
Central aspects of the course1. Soils have been modified to improve their engineering properties for hundreds of years. However, soil improvement technology changes rapidly as new techniques are developed and existing one are tested by actual earthquakes. Therefore, it is important for the geotechnical engineers to gain new knowledge about the latest state-of-the-practice techniques of soil improvement. 2. Advances in soil improvement techniques have been often the result of the initiative of contractors, and research and explanatory theory have helped with the implementation and verification. In this context, there are valuable lessons to be learned from recent earthquakes. Attention is given to mitigation of seismic hazards, the focus thereby being earthquake-induced soil liquefaction, ground settlement and lateral spreading.This course is to introduce students to the concepts underpinning a range of ground improvement techniques, and an appreciation of how these techniques are applied in practice in challenging projects dealing with problematic soils or new synthetic materials. This is an ideal course for students wishing to specialise in geotechnical engineering and gain a broad introduction to “Ground Improvement Techniques” and practising geotechnical engineers desiring to learn about latest state-of-the-practice techniques of soil improvement.Course outline 1. Introduction to Ground Improvement (Day 1) • Introduction: problematic site conditions, ground improvement classification, design and control • Control tests (CPTs; SPTs; PMTs; DMTs), geophysical techniques (downhole; cross-hole; SASW) • Drainage techniques (i.e. dewatering)• Guest Lecture 1 (Māori or Pacific Guest Lecturers)2. Ground Improvement Techniques (Day 2) • Grouting & Deep soil mixing• Lime stabilization • Deep compaction • Embankments• Guest Lecture 2 (Technical lecture)3. Hazardous ground conditions in seismic areas (Day 3) • Liquefaction case histories• Assessment of liquefaction potential – quick review• Remediation of liquefiable soils (MBIE guidelines)• Research Project introduction4. Jet grouting, Deep Soil Mixing and Reinforced Earth Structure (Day 4) • Jet grouting• Earth reinforced structures• Guest Lecture 3 (Technical lecture)5. Artificial soils (Day 5) • Synthesis fills (i.e. granular wastes) for port reclamation • Rubberised soils for geotechnical applications• Guest Lecture 4 (Technical lecture)
Broad knowledge and understanding of the current theory and practice relating to ground improvement techniques;Fundamental knowledge leading to interpretation of typical data and measurements from standard soil field testing for the purpose of ground improvement;Extended knowledge on soil improvement methods for mitigation of seismic hazards.Knowledge and understanding of Māori and Pacific vision in regard to land use and management.Identify problematic geomaterials and site conditions requiring soil improvement;Understand the “principle of ground improvement” and explain its importance and relevance to geotechnical problems;Interpret typical data and measurements from standard soil field testing for the purpose of ground improvement;Apply soil mechanics knowledge and best practices to address the problems of ground improvement and soil liquefaction remediation;Review scientific literature and carry out independent research;Develop an independent and responsible position as a professional soil engineer.
Subject to approval of the Head of Department or the Programme Director.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Block 1: June 8 and 9, 2023Block 2: June 28, 29 and 30, 2023Contact hours:• Lectures - 30 hours (block mode, 5 times × 6 hours)• Tutorials – included in the lecture• Project review – 5 hoursIndependent study:• Lecture review – 15 hours• Exam preparation – 10 hours• Project and assignments – 50 hours• Tutorial preparation – None• Self-study and literature review – 40 hours• Total – 150 hoursMaterial to be delivered in 2 blocks, 1 block of 2 days and 1 block of 3 days. With a project that includes exercises/tutorials on ground improvement design for problematic soils in seismic areas.Reading, lecture and tutorial materials will be available on the Learn page and/or provided to students in the classroom at the beginning of each lecture block.
Guest Lecturers from Industry, Maori and Pasifika
• Assignments (20%) – 4 written reports• Project peer-review (5%)• Project assignment (45%) – research project and written report • Final written exam and oral presentation (30%)
Prerequisites• Sound knowledge of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering• Proficiency in soil liquefaction assessment • Experience in soil field testing analysis and interpretation
Domestic fee $1,164.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Civil and Natural Resources Engineering